Fall TV Week One: Thursday – Getting Away with Murder

NCIS_NOUpdates:  Tried watching NCIS:NO last night and made it about 10 minutes in before I realized I wasn’t paying attention at all.  That’s not necessarily a sign it’s terrible — it’s mostly a sign that I was stressed out, which, in fact, I was.  I’ll try again soon and report back if it sticks.

I’ve also heard from a few people now that episode two of Forever was an improvement over episode one, so I’ll be checking that out too/

Here’s what on tonight:

bonesBones – 8pm – FOX — I used to love Bones.  But when they made that sweet little science nerd a serial killer out of the blue, that not only irritated me, but also seemed to result in a revolving door of replacement characters, none of whom managed to stick around for long, and most of whom were tedious.  I got bored, is what happened; it started to feel too much the same all the time. I still tuck into this one occasionally, and it’s all right in those moments, to be sure.  But I’m not a regular viewer any more, and am unlikely to get back to that level of dedication any time soon.  (Incidentally, the novels this series is based on also totally tanked a few years back and are now virtually unreadable. Shame, because they started off really great. I hate it when that happens!)

greysGrey’s Anatomy – 8pm – ABC — Not even the slightest bit embarrassed to admit I still watch this show and enjoy it.  Through all the ridiculousness, I have remained a solid fan.  This is just good clean dumb fun, and everybody needs a little bit of that in their lives, even if they do continue to say dumb things nobody else ever says, like “mocha latte” and “ferry boat.”  (Department of Redundancy Department, please hold!)

Scandal – 9pm – ABC — Still haven’t watch this one, but really, really want to.  I will get around to it, promise.

murderHow to Get Away with Murder – 10pm – ABC – Shonda Rhimes officially owns Thursday night primetime as of tonight (both Grey’s and Scandal are both Rhimes shows as well), so we might as well start referring to it as Rhimetime and give the lady the props she’s due.  She’s certainly earned it. Her newest is this legal thriller, which stars the awesome Viola Davis as a law school professor whose class of ridiculously good-looking students get roped into some kind of murder plot and, presumably, find themselves needing to figure out how to get away with it.  I have no idea what to expect from this one — Rhimes’ shows can veer dramatically from smart to dumb, sometimes in the same episode, and she’s had her fair share of total misses in addition to her hits (remember Off the Map?).  But with Davis at the helm, I’m definitely game to see where she takes this one.

parenthoodParenthood – 10pm – NBC– I was a diehard fan of Parenthood until last season, when I suddenly found myself lacking the motivation needed to set aside the 42 requisite weekly minutes.  No good reason — nothing I could pinpoint.  I simply burned out on it.  I’m ready to go back now, but I’ve missed a whole season so will have to catch up on that first. This is the final year for the show, which has had its ups and downs over the last few seasons, but for the most part has done a very good job.  I’m going to miss Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson the most out of the cast (been a die-hard Bedelia fan since Heart Like a Wheel, by the way — one of my favorite movies as a kid).  Also Dax Shepard, of course, former Boyfriend of the Week. Thoughtful series, and I know some parents of autistic kids who have especially gotten a lot out of watching this one.  Wish you all the best in your final season, Bravermans.  Thanks for the memories.

6 Responses to “Fall TV Week One: Thursday – Getting Away with Murder”

  1. briantoohey Says:

    Not very interested in any of these. Parenthood is on my list of shows to check out from the beginning at some point, and I may give the Rhimes show a shot simply because I like Viola Davis, but from the trailers I’ve seen it looks like the kind of affected, trend-following yet cloying network television I can’t stand.

    I haven’t heard why Murder: She Wrote got shelved, because I like Octavia Spencer and think that would have been a good match for her… much better than Red Band Society, which I have no interest in. I remember hearing a couple of years back when it was still in the works that Angela Lansbury bad-mouthed it and wondered why they were giving it the M:SW name when it had nothing in common with the original source material.

    • megwood Says:

      I was just talking with Alisa (another frequent commenter here) on Facebook about M:SW. Spencer would’ve been such a good choice because she’s SO different from Lansbury — it would’ve made comparisons kind of moot from the start, which it needs. Castle is sort of Murder: He Wrote, though, and I wonder if that was partly why the actual remake got shelved? Sucks if Lansbury was really part of the problem. I’ve always loved her and want her to be cooler than that.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Maybe Lansbury can still be considered cool, if she thought the new “M:SW” wasn’t good quality, and didn’t want to see O. Spencer saddled with it. Or you’re right about “Castle,” and maybe it would have been redundant. Spencer herself is very cool, and will no doubt survive.

        I think “How to Get Away with Murder” sounds pretty good, albeit a bit formulaic. I’m thinking “House” and “Shark,” both of which featured teams of young, eager students and/or professionals, led by a male anti-hero type. Now we have a show with eager students, led by an AWESOME Black (African American?) Woman (Viola Davis -yay!). Worth a try in my book.

      • briantoohey Says:

        It was only in development for a couple of years, Meg, so Castle was already several seasons in. In fact, that may have been part of what gave them the idea to do it.

        As for Lansbury, I think she said complementary things about Spencer, and I don’t think a pilot was ever produced or she’d even seen scripts, so she wasn’t bad-mouthing the show so much as the “re-branding.” I think her reaction was more about how nothing is being made without connecting it to a previous “brand” these days. Look at the Denzel Washington Equalizer movie… it has nothing in common with the old show, nothing, not even the music, nothing. So why use a “brand name” that has no marketing cache anyway? The only people who even remember the 80’s show are our age and don’t really care. It’s not like The Equalizer name is going to get any 15-25 year olds into the theatre. I believe Lansbury was talking down the idea of using the Murder: She Wrote name for a show that had nothing to do with Murder: She Wrote, except for that fact that it would be a woman investigating crimes. So why not just call it something else? Anyone who would have tuned in because of the Murder: She Wrote name (which would have been few) would have not gotten whatever it was they’d been expecting.

        About to check out How to Get Away with Murder, but I’m already reading reviews that are criticizing it for the very reasons I’m skeptical about the show. I want to see a show about Viola Davis. From the trailers, the students all look stupid and annoying. I don’t want to see a show focused on them, trying to make them “edgy” or “disaffected” or cool in some WB way. If they can make it like House, where Viola Davis leads a team, and they’re somewhat genuine and relatable and sometimes the show explores their characters as well, I’m in. But if it’s a show about young, annoying kids I can’t stand, with a Viola Davis sticker slapped on as window dressing, I’m out.

  2. briantoohey Says:

    Okay, so I finally watched How to Get Away with Murder, and I loathed almost every second of it. I’ve never seen a Shonda Rhimes show before, and this certainly isn’t a good start. I thought that every character was unlikable, most were loathsome, and the show overall was borderline-loathsome. A large part of it was that I never felt like I was watching an actual show with a story that was being told, but a piece of marketing that was aggressively pushing a series of agendas at me, most of which I strongly resented. At every moment it was trying so hard to prove how smart it was, how socially progressive and relevant it was, how over-the-top entertaining it was… that all it did was make me want to shut it off. I seemed like every second had been designed by a bunch of marketing suits to make its likability and entertainment factors bulletproof as must-watch entertainment, and that all it amounted to was this argument for itself, without anything holding it together… and that consequently it amounted to a sum total of zero. Or actually a negative, if that’s possible I imagine that, if I were back in college, this is what it would feel like to try to date a hyper-obsessed, ADD, type A sociopath with a 4.0 GPA, when after about 30 seconds all I’d want to do is shoot her in the face. Or myself. Or both of us. Despite all of its constant hyperactive posturing, I didn’t find the show to be smart, or socially progressive or relevant, or entertaining… or enjoyable. Viola Davis deserves so much better than this. Yuck.

    I followed that up with Selfie, which was a pretty shallow show with modest aims, but that I comparatively enjoyed because at least it aimed to entertain (instead of aiming to convince me it was entertaining, and I wasn’t allowed to think otherwise). Karen Gillan and John Cho were both likable in it, and I may give it another episode or two to see where it goes.

    Next up… the probable waste-of-time Forever!

    • Anonymous Says:

      I think you make some very valid points (I too thought immediately of “House”). But I had a very different reaction to the show. I said to my husband, “Boy, this show confused me, but I really liked it.” He said he had thought the same thing! Now, if these law students can be portrayed as at least as driven as the ones on “The Paper Chase,” and perhaps on Ritalin, or Speed, they.may have a show. Davis, herself, seems to be off to a good start.

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